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Registered Dietitians Can Do Much to Help Educate Americans and Eliminate Health Disparities in U.S., Says Former Surgeon General
Date:2/11/2009

CHICAGO, Feb. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Former U.S. Surgeon General Kenneth P. Moritsugu urged members of the American Dietetic Association to draw on their science-based nutrition knowledge and patient-care skills to prevent diseases such as obesity and diabetes, to help eliminate health disparities that exist in the United States and to educate Americans to take charge of their nutrition, health and well-being.

Moritsugu, who was Deputy Surgeon General from 1998 to 2006 and Acting Surgeon General from 2006 to 2007, delivered the keynote address February 8 for ADA's Public Policy Workshop, an online meeting of more than 1,000 Association members to update them on ADA's 2009 legislative priorities and activities.

Moritsugu is now chairman of the Johnson & Johnson Diabetes Institute and a member of ADA's Board of Directors. He noted he is not only a colleague and observer of registered dietitians, he is "one of your clients. I have Type 1 diabetes and have received counseling from several dietitians regarding my diet and dietary practices. You have played, and continue to play, a significant role in my continuing health and well being; as well as that of America."

Referring to registered dietitians as "the credible and recognized experts in food and nutrition and diet," Moritsugu urged RDs to share their knowledge, skills and science base to "help policy makers make better decisions for the public good. Make your voices heard. You connect the dots between good diet, good choices and good health. And you keep the focus on the patient at the center of what we do."

In reviewing the current state of the country's health-care system, Moritsugu said the system "has not yet fully realized the importance of prevention in the overall health equation. In our country, where overweight and obesity are affecting more than two out of three Americans, and overweight and obesity are associated with
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SOURCE American Dietetic Association
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